Lee Schmidt

Class of 2001-2002

Class of 2002

Lee Schmidt worked as an Indigenous rights lawyer at a Vancouver firm before joining the Peter A. Allard School of Law late in 2017 as the Associate Director Indigenous Legal Studies. Schmidt was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 2003 after completing her LLB at the law school at UBC, graduating as an alumnus of the Indigenous Legal Studies and the first recipient of the Carole T. Corcoran Memorial Award in Law. Prior to her legal education, Schmidt studied in Quebec, received a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to study in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, received her Diploma in Public Sector Management from the University of Victoria and a Native Adult Instructor Diploma (PIDP) from Okanagan University College. She also worked as a program officer, administrator, and instructor for the  Stó:Nation in the areas of adult education and employment initiatives. Schmidt identifies as Cree and Métis from her father, the late Louis Schmidt, of Sandy Bay, Saskatchewan, and Dutch from her late mother Lisa. She was born and raised in the Coast Salish and Stó:lō traditional territories.

From 2003 to 2008, Schmidt actively represented Indigenous clients in treaty negotiations, consultation processes, land use planning, and cases concerning Aboriginal rights and title claims. From 2008-2016, she focused primarily on representing residential school survivors in the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) class action , further demonstrating her commitment to Indigenous rights, reconciliation, and justice.

In 2018 Schmidt and fellow alumnus Patricia Barkaskas (Class of 2011) chaired the “Cultural Competency for Lawyers” course for the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia (CLEBC). The course was a direct response to Call to Action #27 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which requires lawyers to obtain sufficient cultural competency training, including education on the history and legacy of residential schools, Indigenous legal traditions, conflict resolution, and anti-racist legal practice. She continues this work as the staff lead for Allard’s Indigenous Cultural Competency Certificate.

Schmidt, alongside Mandell Pinder LLP lawyers Cheryl Charvit and Stephen Mussell, coached the 2017/2018 Allard School of Law team for the Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Moot. The moot addresses pressing issues on Indigenous and Aboriginal law and helps law students develop a better understanding for Indigenous legal customs and practice, thereby honing the cultural competency skills of the next generation of lawyers. She continues to coach the Allard Kawaskimhon Moot team each year.